When Ascension Day is not separately observed and celebrated in the Church, we observe it here, on the seventh and last Sunday of Easter.
Luke’s version of the Ascension story comes at the very end of chapter 24, an action-packed chapter that begins with Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and the other women discovering the empty tomb and meeting the angels in dazzling white clothes who ask why they seek the living among the dead – in other words Jesus has risen and is alive. The women head back to the other disciples tell them the good news, and then later that same day, two of the disciples are walking on the road to Emmaus, struggling with all that has happened, and Jesus appears to them, though they don’t recognize him at first. Jesus lovingly chastises their struggling hearts and then interprets the scriptures beginning with Moses in light of his crucifixion and resurrection. And then, when prayers are said and bread and broken, the disciples realize this is Jesus who has been walking with them, and then he disappears. Now these two head back to the rest of the disciples at Jerusalem to tell them the good news about Jesus.